Steamboat, Colorado is typically thought of as an ideal winter skiing destination with their trademarked champagne powder and almost 3,000 acres of ski terrain with a family friendly atmosphere, but it’s equally fun in the summer too. The resort recently invested $200 million in upgrades and improvements. By the 2023-2024 ski season they will have the longest gondola in the US at 3.16 miles with only a 13 minute ride up and altitude change of 3,668 ft packed with gorgeous views. We’ve been to Steamboat a few times and can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’re looking for a western town vibe. Also, if you’re affected by high altitudes, the base at Steamboat (6,900ft) compared to Breckenridge (9,600ft) and Vail (8,100ft) leads to fewer headaches and fatigue. There’s always portable oxygen too!
We’ve flown into Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN) only 28 miles outside of Steamboat and also Denver International Airport (DEN) and driven 3.5 hours to Steamboat. Both options have benefits. If driving, definitely book an all-wheel drive SUV. There are a few mountain passes to go through, all boasting stunning mountain views. Heads up: there’s a stretch of 48 miles past privately owned ranches without options for bathroom or snack stops.
Ski in/ski out is so beneficial when skiing with kids. Organizing and putting on the gear alone can nearly ruin the day so staying as close as possible to the lifts or gondolas is a huge benefit. It also allows for easy breaks during the day if someone is tired or needs a snack. In the summer, staying further out is a bit easier and less costly. Check to see if your rental offers a shuttle service to and from the gondola base and Old Town Square to avoid needing a rental car. I’d also recommend choosing a location with a pool and/or hot tub. Swimming outside, especially in the winter while snow falls, can’t be beat.
- Skiing Check for lift ticket, ski or snowboard rentals, food, and ski school deals when booking lodging
- Powder Cats Explore the backcountry safely with a snowcat
- Snowshoeing Book a photography tour that includes rental gear
- Cross country skiing at the Haymaker Nordic Center
- Sleigh rides Book a dinner as well
- Ice climbing
- Howelsen Ice Complex bumper cars on ice
- Dog Sledding
- White water rafting
- Rock climbing
- Gondola rides and hiking
- Waterfall hikes
- Mountain biking
- Yampa River Botanic Gardens
- Tennis and pickle ball
Year Round Activities
- Old Town Hot Springs in the heart of steamboat and originally opened in 1885. Check out the water slides, different temperature pools, and lap swimming pools.
- Strawberry Hot Springs a few miles outside of Steamboat with naturally landscaped hot springs. Shuttles are available if you don’t rent a car.
- F.M. Light and Sons Western Store near the hot springs and originally opened in 1905
- Horseback riding
- Hot air balloon rides
- Tread of Pioneers Museum
- Art galleries and shops
If you’re interested in outdoor adventures, this is an ideal spot with gorgeous views to make incredible family memories!